MARK D. FREEMAN, ESQUIRE

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Be sure that your wishes are carried out

after you have departed this life.small logo

 

LEGAL DOCUMENT PACKAGE

Our legal document package includes a standard will, power of attorney and living will. The first step of the process is for you to answer the estate planning questions and forward those answers to our office.  Once we have accepted your representation, Mr. Freeman will call you to discuss your answers with you over the phone to ensure that he knows what your wishes are before he begins to draft your documents.  We will set up an appointment to execute your documents at the same time Mr. Freeman discusses your wishes with you.  Your legal documents are drafted and we send them to you in draft form to you for you to review.  Our goal is to send you drafts of your documents within two weeks although you will usually have them sooner.  Once you receive your drafts, you will need to review the documents and, if you have any questions, you can make a list of them or simply mark up the drafts and communicate those questions or concerns to us by phone, email, fax or letter.  We will respond to your questions and make any corrections, if any are necessary, prior to your signature appointment to sign the documents.  Mr. Freeman personally conducts your signature appointment to make sure that all of your documents are executed, witnessed and notarized properly so that you can be sure they are valid.

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STANDARD WILL
A standard will provides for the payment of your debts and funeral expenses, distribution of your personal property, making specific bequests to charities, grandchildren and individuals, if any, distribution of the residue of any real or personal property, appointment of executor, creation of testamentary trusts for minors with age specific distribution schedule, appointment of a trustee for any minor trusts and appointment of a guardian for minor children, if any.  After we have sent you drafts and the documents meet your satisfaction, you will need to come to a signature appointment so that you can sign your documents.  At your signature appointment with Mr. Freeman, you will sign your documents and we will witness and notarize your documents.   We will provide you with your original legal documents as well as a copy and we will retain a copy of your documents in our file. 

The normal document preparation and review process involves review and making corrections to ensure that we have accurately incorporated your wishes into your documents.  Although it is rare, occasionally, a person changes their wishes after drafts have been made.  In the event extensive revisions are required rather than corrections, we reserve the right to charge for the additional redrafting due to changing parameters.

POWER OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney is a document in which you appoint another person as your agent and empowers your agent to conduct your business for you.   The power can be immediate or springing and articulates the specific powers granted to your agent.  Typically, you will name a primary agent and one or more backup agents to serve in case your primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve. 

LIVING WILL
A living will provides your family and medical providers with your wishes should you be in a state of permanent unconsciousness or terminally ill and incompetent.  In the living will you express whether you want such measures as cardiac resuscitation, artificial ventilation and tube feeding in the event you are in such a dire condition.  You can also appoint a surrogate who should be consulted by medical professionals in the event you are in such a condition.

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FEES

Reciprocal Document Package for Married Couple
2 Standard wills, 2 powers of attorney, 2 living wills
(This includes a telephone consultation with Mr. Freeman,
Drafting the documents and your signature appointment.)               $950.00

Document Package for Single Person 
Standard Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will 
(This includes a telephone consultation with Mr. Freeman,
Drafting the documents and your signature appointment.)               $550.00

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            Individual al la carte

Standard Will                                                                        $475.00
POA                                                                                       $125.00
Living Will                                                                              $  50.00

Should your estate warrant a credit shelter trust in order to reduce your Federal Estate and Gift Tax burden, there is an additional fee of $375.00.

In the event your family situation requires a testamentary supplemental needs trust, there will be an additional fee of $375.00.

If your wishes require more complex planning and drafting, we will discuss additional fees with you prior to our engagement. 

Additional consultations and multiple redrafts will incur additional fees.

In the event you are unable to come to Mr. Freeman’s office there is a travel fee for Mr. Freeman’s and, if needed, our notary’s travel time.  Those fees will be disclosed to you prior to our engagement. 

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REVOCABLE OR LIVING TRUST - DON’T GET SCAMMED
There are many attorneys and other professionals suggesting that a living trust will help you avoid probate, provide privacy for your estate and reduce the chances of litigation.  While there are some valid reasons for a revocable or living trust, my experience has been that many people come to me believing they need a living trust.  I will generally press you to explain why it is you believe you need a living trust.  A living trust will not save you inheritance taxes, and, in Pennsylvania, a living trust provides no privacy either.  The beneficiaries of a living trust can litigate every bit as much as the beneficiaries of a will, so a living trust provides no relief from the litigation issue either.  The Attorney General of Pennsylvania has characterized the promotion of living trusts in Pennsylvania as a “scam” on the elderly.  For more information about living trusts see the Attorney General’s website at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?id=304
The foregoing is not to say there are not circumstances in which a living trust is not appropriate, however, you should clearly understand exactly what benefit a living trust provides before you move forward.  There are techniques to avoid probate that do not involve living trusts that can cost you absolutely nothing.  Avoiding probate does not avoid liability for inheritance and other death taxes and this is true with or without a living trust. If you are considering a living or revocable trust, you can discuss the advantages of the trust with Mr. Freeman.

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The purpose of this site is to provide useful information about wills, estate planning and estate administration. It is not intended to provide legal advice.You should consult a competent estate planning and/or estate administration attorney before acting on any of the information contained on this site.